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Bob Duncan 



or hunters across the state, 
August marks a familiar an- 
nual event — the Virginia Out- 
door Sportsman Show. Held 
every year during the sizzle of 
summer (this year, August 8- 
10), founder Hugh Crittenden 
proudly reminds me that this 
is their 25th shovi^. And many 
of us in the Department have been to 
every single one! 

The sportsman show signals to all 
comers that we have crossed that magi- 
cal line and officially entered pre-hunting 
season. For me, crossing that line repre- 
sents a spiritual lift. It is the anticipation 
of the season and the anticipation of "all 
that may come" that carries me through 
the rest of the year. 

The sportsman show kicks Virginia 
sportsmen and women into high gear. It 
reminds us that we need to prepare: to 
consider our equipment needs; to sight- 
in our firearms; to purchase our licenses 
(and maybe one for a newcomer — an ap- 
prentice). While there, consider stop- 
ping by the Hunters for the Hungry 
booth and making a $2 donation to a 
most worthy cause. 

At the show, your mind starts racing 
about all the hunting seasons around the 
comer: dove during the first week of 
September; then goose and teal; then 
bow seasons in October; then... You 
know them as well as I do. 

It thrills me to report that 2008 of- 
fers the most liberal bag limits of recent 
years, anywhere. We have quality deer in 
every county across the state. We have 




wonderful bear and turkey 
populations. Rabbit and squir- 
rel numbers are up. 

This very good forecast 
should bring plenty of foot 
traffic to the sportsman show. 
As a special tribute, disabled 
veterans who hold a valid 
hunting license wUl be admit- 
ted at no charge on Saturday. According 
to Hugh, it's just one small gesture to un- 
derscore his appreciation. We are each 
indebted to these fine patriots for their 
service to this country. 

I've been touched to learn about 
many organizations across Virginia reach- 
ing out to returning soldiers. More and 
more people are recognizing the need 
for support and responding in amazing 
ways. Folks are making time to take veter- 
ans out to the woods and waterways, to 
make hunting and fishing opportunities 
available. Local chapters of the Virginia 
Deer Hunters Association, the NWTF's 
Wheelin' Sportsmen, Project Healing Wa- 
ters, and others are sponsoring special 
hunts for disabled veterans that demon- 
strate our respect and compassion. 

For me personally, sharing in their 
anticipation and their excitement — 
which is greatest of all — cannot be cap- 
tured in words. These brave men and 
women are making remarkable adapta- 
tions to do the things that you and I take 
for granted every day. They are getting 
out: They are hunting and fishing and en- 
joying the outdoors. With your help and 
encouragement, they will do so again 
come September 



Mission Statement 

To mani^e Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; 
To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work dihgently to safeguard the 
rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; To promote safety for persons and prop- 
erty in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of 
and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildhfe resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing and boating opportunities. 

Dedicated to the Conservation of Virginia's Wildlife and Natural Resources 

VOLUME 69 NUMBER 8 



Commonwealth of Virginia 
Timothy M. Kaine, Governor 



L HUNTING & nSHING 
ICENSE FEE 



Subsidized this publication 

Secretary of Natural Resources 

L. Preston Bryant, Jr. 

Department of Game and 
Inland Fisheries 

Bob Duncan 
Executive Director 

Members of the Board 
Ward Burton, Halifax 
Sherry Smith Crumley, Buchanan 
William T. Greer, Jr., Norfolk 
James W. Hazel, Oakton 
C.T. Hill, Midlothian 
Randy J. Kozuch, Alexandria 
John W. Montgomery, Jr., Sandston 
Mary Louisa Pollard, Irvington 
Richard E. Railey, Courtland 
Thomas A. Stroup, Fairfax 
Charles S.Yates, Cleveland 

Magazine Staff 

Sally Mills, Editor 

Lee Walker, Ron Messina, Julia Dixon, 

Contributing Editors 

Emily Pels, Art Director 

Carol Kushlak, Production Manager 




Color separations and printing by 
Progress Printing, Lynchburg, VA. 



Virginia Wildlife OSSN 0042 6792) is pubUshed month- 
ly by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland 
Fisheries. Send all subscription orders and address 
changes to Virginia Wildlife, P. O. Box 7477, Red Oak, 
Iowa 51591-0477. Address all other communications 
concerning this publication to Virginia Wildlife, P. O. 
Box 1 1 104, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 
23230-1 104. Subscription rates are $12.95 for one year, 
$23.95 for two years; $4.00 per each back issue, subject 
to availability. Out-of-country rate is $24.95 for one year 
and must be paid in U.S. funds. No refunds for amounts 
less than $5.00 To subscribe, call toll-free (800) 710- 
9369. Postmaster: Please send all address changes to 
Virginia Wildlife, RO. Box 7477, Red Oak, Iowa 51591- 
0477. Postage for periodicals paid at Richmond, Virginia 
and additional entry offices. 

Copyright 2008 by the Virginia Department of Game 
and Inland Fisheries. All rights reserved. 

The Department of Game and hiland Fisheries shall 
afford to all persons an equal access to Department 
programs and facilities without regard to race, color 
religion, national origin, disability, sex, or age. If you 
believe that you have been discriminated against in any 
program, activity or facility, please write to: Virginia 
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, ATfN: 
Compliance Officer, (4010 West Broad Street.) RO.Box 
1 1 104, Richmond, Virginia 23230-1 104. 

"This publication is intended for general informational 
purposes only and every effort has been made to 
ensure its accuracy. The information contained herein 
does not serve as a legal representation of fish and 
wildlife laws or regulations.The Virginia Department of 
Game and Inland Fisheries does not assume responsi- 
bility for any change in dates, regulations, or informa- 
tion that may occur after publication." 



CONTENTS 




About the cover: 

This summer, consider tackling one 
of Virginia's blue ribbon trout streams, 
where cool, shaded watere t;ike the bite 
out of the August heat. 
©Douglas Grahiun 



TTIRGINIA 

\ WILD LIFE 

Magazine 
Subscriptions 

For subscriptions, 

circulation problems 

and address changes 

call: 

1-800-710-9369 

12 issues for $12.95 
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4Wliere Tlie Sky is Always 
Blue 

by Tee Clarkson 
Blue Sky Fund introduces city kids to 
different terrain. 



C^ Real Hunters Don't Bait 
^^ or Feed 

by Bruce Ingram 
Ethical deer hunting begins with this principle. 



1 2 Gwis 

by Clarke C. Jones 
More and more women are drawn to 
shooting sports. 



1 C^ Match the Hatch 

^^ by Harry Murray 
Learn how to read insect hatch 
patterns in Virginia's trout streimis. 



'^ C\ Dove Hunts Celebrate 
^^ ^^ Food, Family and Friends 

b)' Ken Perrotte 
Season openers bring old friends together 



*^ rr A Central Virginia Museum 
^ O Rocks 

by Emily M. Grey 
Virginia's rich geological and biological 
heritage is celebrated here. 

Afield and Afloat 

30 Journal 

33 PhotoTips 

spare Your Shoulders and Get 
a Beach Roily! 

34 OnTlie Water 

Meet SPOT: A Satellite Messenger 



A unique scholarship 

program introduces Richmond City kids 

to the thrills of the great outdoors. 





story by Tee Clarkson 
photos by EKviglit Dyke 

n his classic short story "The 
Scarlet Ibis," James Hurst 
wrote, "Pride is a wonderful, 
terrible thing, a seed that 
bears two vines, life and death." 
Today there is no arguing that the 
pride on Cierra Moreno's face is the 
embodiment of life as she darts up the 
grassy bank of a farm pond in eastern 
Hanover County, a half-povmd bass 
dangling from the hook at the end of 
her line. The look on her face does not 
attempt to liide her excitement as she 
smiles shyly and leans the fish to- 
ward one of the volunteers so they 
can release it back into the water. This 



While several of these kids have been 
fishing with Blue Sky Fund in the past, 
for most of them, it was their first expe- 
rience on the water For some, it was 
one of their first experiences in the out- 
doors. Blue Sky thrives on volunteers, 
and on this day several generous people 
donated their time to make this a won- 
derful day all around. 








is Cierra's second trip to this pond for 
a fishing event hosted by Blue Sky 
Fund, a recently formed non-profit 
organization aimed at getting inner 
city youth into the great outdoors. 

If there is a moment that defines 
the mission of Blue Sky, one of teach- 
ing responsibility, confidence and 
self-worth while having fun out- 
doors, this is it. Just a year ago, Cierra, 
who is 8 years old, had arrived at tliis 
same pond with her brothers and sis- 
ter: Hector (6), Brandon (11), and 
Kapre (10). As a group they had been 
shy and nervous, somewhat skepti- 
cal of the people and the place — the 
open fields and large expanse of 
water. Now Cierra stands tri- 
umphant on the bank of this same 
pond, boasting a prize bigger than 
the fish on the end of her line and one 
that she caught all by herself. 

As Cierra digs for another worm 
to bait her hook, Fritz Knapp compli- 
ments her on her catch. Fritz is the 
founder of Blue Sky Fund. As the co- 
ordinator of GRIP (Gang Reduction 
and Intervention Program) in Rich- 
mond, Fritz witnesses the damaging 
effects that an urban setting and neg- 
ative peer pressure can have on 
young people on a daily basis. After 
Fritz's father, Frederick A. Knapp, Jr., 
passed away in 2002, Fritz sought a 
way to preserve the memory of his fa- 
ther's own dedication to youth dur- 
ing his lifetime. 

"He believed in getting involved 
in the lives of kids," says Fritz about 
his father. "He was a big proponent of 
mentoring youth, always working 
with the YMCA, the Boy Scouts, or 
coaching a youth football team." 

When Fritz was young, his fami- 
ly lived in Huntington, NY, and host- 
ed an inner-city kid for two consecu- 

Right: The author baits a hook for two 
Richmonders from Churchill. 

AUGUST 2008 




tive summers in the 1960s as part of 
Fresh Air Fund's program to get New 
York's youth out of the city during 
the summer as a means of preventing 
tuberculosis. Fresh Air Fund, an in- 
dependent non-profit organization 
which began in 1877, is still at it, hav- 
ing provided outdoor experiences 
aiid camp scholarships for over 1.7 
million of New York's inner-city 
youth over the last 130 years. Re- 
membering the positive experience 
from his younger days, Fritz mod- 
eled Blue Sky after Fresh Air, with the 
goal of providing inner city youth 
with outdoor experiences and sum- 
mer camp scholarships. Fritz began 
offering summer camp scholarships 
following his father's death. In 2003, 
he sent three kids to camp. In 2006 
that number had grown to 96! With 
the official formation of Blue Sky 
Fund, Fritz hopes to see camp schol- 
arships climb into the hundreds 
within the next several years. 

Today, ten young Richmonders 
have made it out to this farm in 
Hanover County. Some are intrigued 
by the fishing, like Cierra, and others 
like Lakeisha Gibson and NeeNee 
Jones are more interested in riding in 



the back of a pick-up truck on dirt 
roads and watching as a flight of 
geese settle into the back end of the 
pond. 

"I am excited that the kids know 
how to fish," says Lawson McNeil 
Wijesooriya, Executive Director for 
Blue Sky Fund, "but I am more excit- 
ed that the kids are interested in 
learning something new." The 27- 
year-old graduate of the University 
of Virginia notes that the chief goals 
of Blue Sky Fund are to expose more 
kids to the wilderness, impassion 
kids about their learning, and hope- 
fully have some of these kids come 
back as leaders and counselors in the 
future. 

If one were looking for a quiet 
outdoor experience, this is not it. The 
excitement is too great. As one group 
comes jostling up to the edge of the 
pond in the back of the pick-up after 
checking the catfish rods set in the 

Right: Feeling that first tug of the line 
helps every angler focus right in. Below: 
Megan Clarkson, Director of Development 
for Blue Sky Fund, knows that patience 
might be the hardest thing to teach a 
young angler waiting for their first bite. 





VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



Pamunkey River, Brianna Carry 
screams at the end of the dock as her 
bobber slowly dips underwater and 
she jerks back on a bent pole. In a few 
moments, she smiles for a photo with 
Connell Mullins, a volunteer, holding 
a bass of a little more than a pound. 

As the hoots and congratulations 
fade into the crisp October morning, 
there remains one quiet member of 
the group. Trayvon Cary stands in 
the far comer of the dock, staring in- 
tently at the end of his line, having yet 
to feel the pull of a fish this morning. 
As Hurst wrote, "Pride... bears two 
vines, life and death." Few will come 
to learn this as well as Trayvon and 
the rest of these kids, growing up in 
environments where too much pride 
can get them killed, and not enough 
will never get them out. 

Under the shade of a tree on the 
bank, Fritz hollers out to the group 
that the burgers are ready. Quickly 
the dock empties except for Trayvon, 
still standing and staring at his bob- 
ber. 

"Trayvon!!!! Burgers are 
ready!!!!," Fritz yells. 

As if on cue, his bobber dips 
under and suddenly Trayvon is into a 
nice bass. In a flash the dock is popu- 
lated again, this time with sodas and 
ketchup sloshing on its deck as 
Trayvon hoists over the railing a two- 
pound bass, the biggest of the day. 

Later, reflecting on the day Fritz 
says, "If this were to go beyond my 
lifetime, I would really be happy. The 
thought that in the year 2060 kids 
might be fishing, or hiking, or going 
to summer camp through Blue Sky 
Fund is pretty exciting." 

I believe Trayvon and all the kids 
who went fishing this day would say 
Blue Sky is off to a good start. L\ 

Tee Clarkson is an English teacher at Deep Run 
High School in Henrico County. Tee runs Vir- 
ginia Fishing Adventures, a fishing camp for 
kids: ummifishingndventu res. com. 

For more information about Blue Sky 

Fund please coiitact Lawson Wijesooriya 

at (804) 938-9961, or go to 

www.hlueskyfund.org. 

Right: A proud and patient Trayvon 
hoists a nice bass. 

AUGUST 2008 





One ethical hunter 
explains why. 

by Bruce Insram 

■ 

■ t was the most miserable moment 
^ I have ever experienced as a 
1 / hunter. The time was 10:15 on an 
early October morning (and opening 
day of Virginia's bow season), rain 
was falling, the blood trail I had tried 
to follow had been washed away, 
somewhere on my 30-acre parcel in 
Craig County a white-tail probably 
lay dead, and between 30 and 50 yards 
from where I was perched sat three 
considerable bait piles of com. Baiting 
deer and other game animals, of 
course, is illegal in Virginia. 



An explanation is obviously in order 
and a timeline of that Saturday is the best 
way to give one. 

6:30 A.M. ... Arriving well before sunrise, 
I park my jeep at the entrance to the prop- 
erty, walk to and ascend my hang-on 
stand. 

8:05... I see a buck and a fawn approach- 
ing the stand. 

8:15. . . I shoot an arrow at the buck and 
feel that I have made a fatal hit, even 
though the white-tail runs out of sight. I 
decide to wait an hour before following 
the blood trail. 

9:05... Ironically, in a summer and fall 
characterized by drought and with a small 
chance of precipitation forecasted, the 
clouds unexpectedly open and rain begins 
to steadily fall. I reason that I will have to 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ wvvw.HuntFishVA.com 




Doni Bait or Feed 




One of the piles of corn that hod been placed on the author's Craig County land. 



prematurely follow the buck or risk losing 
his mark. 

9:10-10:00... I follow the blood trail 
until it disappears, meanwhile twice 
jumping up the buck. I decide to return to 
my tree stand, so as not to risk possibly 
spooking him off my property. 

10:10... Walking back to the stand, I find 
the three bait piles of corn and realize 
that, technically, I have been hunting 
over bait and the deer that I shot had 
been drawn to the corn and probably also 
had been consuming that grain. 

10:15... I resolve to sit still until 1:00 
P.M., giving the buck a chance to die and 
also to avoid spooking him further. I am 
afraid to go to my car because I might 
scare the buck off the property; yet, I am 
extremely worried about remaining near 
the bait piles. There is no right decision to 



make, but I opt to remain near the bait. I 
also ponder the irony that I had refused 
to hunt over corn during 2005 and 2006 
bow hunts to West Virginia and North Car- 
olina, respectively; something that my 
hosts were none too happy about. My re- 
sponse had been that, although baiting 
deer is legal in those two states, hunting 
over corn is neither ethical nor consistent 
with the principles of fair chase. 

1:00 P.M. ... I resume tracking the deer 
and find it at 1:40. 1 then field dress the 
animal, check it in at a New Castle check 
station, drop the animal at my butcher's 
shop, arrive home, and call DGIF conser- 
vation police officer Greg Funkhouser to 
report the incident. 

Sunday afternoon... My wife Elaine and 
I bring Funkhouser and fellow officer 
John Koloda to our land and show them 



Figuring out how deer move naturally is 
one of the challenges and joys of hunting. 



the piles of corn. Koloda discovers where 
an individual has positioned tree stand 
steps in a poplar near the corn, and 
Funkhouser locates where someone has 
been accessing my property without per- 
mission. Both officers plan future stake- 
outs of my land. 

As we leave, Funkhouser tells me that 
I cannot legally hunt my property for 30 
days until it has been "cleaned" of the 
corn and the effects of baiting. I tell him 
that is no problem, as I own three other 
rural properties and can go afield on the 
national forest and a number of local 
farms. But I can't help thinking of another 
negative consequence of baiting: a per- 
son who does not have access to public 
land or other property could truly have his 
hunting season ruined because of the ac- 
tions of an illegal baiter. 



AUGUST 2008 



Before revealing how my situa- 
tion was resolved, consider this: Why 
has Virgiiiia traditionally prohibited 
individuals from hunting over bait? 
According to state hunting regula- 
tions, it is unlawful "for any person to 
place or distribute food, salt, miner- 
als or similar substances, to feed or at- 
tract deer from September 1 through 
the first Saturday in January. Nor, 
upon written notification by Depart- 
ment personnel, shall any person 
continue to place or distribute any 
food, salt, mineral or similar sub- 
stances for any purpose if the place- 
ment of these materials results in the 
attraction of and / or feeding of deer." 

I asked Dave Steffen, a research 
biologist supervisor for the Depart- 
ment, about the policies against bait- 
ing and feeding. 

"Deer cannot be shot over bait in 
Virginia; that's state code," he told 
me. "Shooting an animal over bait 
isn't hunting, and the Department 
will never call it hunting. For certain 
herd control purposes in cities and 
towns, it is sometimes necessary for 
sharp shooters to shoot deer over 
bait. 

"Hunting over bait is also clearly 
unethical. Do we really want to drift 
toward animal husbandry? Put, for 
example, deer in enclosures and feed 
them artificially and treat them like 
cattle behind a fence? In Virginia, we 
have said 'no'. Philosophically, we 
believe that wildlife should live in a 
natural way." 

He continues, "Another negative 
of baiting and feeding is that it con- 
centrates deer in one spot, which in- 
creases the likelihood of disease 
transmission. With the discovery of 
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in 
West Virginia, near our border, we 
have become especially vigilant 
about disease management and the 
implications of feeding deer." 

Steffen emphasizes that the pub- 
lic supports the Department's philos- 
ophy. The general public under- 
stands the fair chase ethic, but many 
non-hunters — understandably — 
cannot understand the sport of killing 
an animal standing over a pile of 
com, apples, or beets. This philoso- 
phy also relates to why individuals 
cannot feed deer between September 
1 and the first Saturday in January. 




CPO Greg Funkhouser notes some disturbed Leaves, indicating where a trespasser 
has accessed the author's property. 

"Let's say an individual is deer 
hunting on national forest land and 
on the private land that borders the 
public land, a non-hunter is feeding 
deer just so that he can see them," 
continues Steffen. "How far does that 
hunter have to go back into the na- 
tional forest before he can take a 
stand at a spot where deer movement 
is not influenced by that feeding?" 

"We had rather hunters not have 
to wrestle with that question and oth- 
ers like it. Plus, again, the no feeding 
regulation helps lessen the chances of 
disease transmission and CWD," he 
adds. 

Matt Knox is the deer project 
leader for the DGEF. He offers these 
arguments against baiting. 

Some individuals believe that 
feeding staves off winter die-off 
among deer. However, winter- 
related deer deaths are almost 
non-existent in the Old Domin- 
ion. 

VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 




The author drags away a doe from his 
stand site before field dressing it. The 
stand was placed near red oak acorns 
on the ground. Learning and reading 
deer sign is a mark of good woods- 
manship. 



|r For the most part, Virginia's deer 
herd is in fair to good condition 
health- wise. 

|r Feeding deer will not make them 
grow gigantic antlers. Letting 
bucks grow older is what helps 
them to grow better-sized 
antlers. 

%/ Baiting deer can cause them to 
overpopulate an area. This is not 
good for wildlife habitat. 

•r Recreational feeding of deer like- 
wise has negative consequences 
for nearby wildlife habitat, often 
causing over-browsing of plants. 
This can be harmful to the deer 
themselves as well as other 
wildlife, from songbirds to bears. 

|r Deer feeding has been linked to 
CWD, tuberculosis, and brucel- 
lois — the three most significant 
deer diseases today. 

%/ Feeding deer causes them to lose 
their essential wildness. Do we 
really want deer to become semi- 
tame? 

w Bottom line: the Department rec- 
ommends against deer feeding at 
any time of year. 





I iTa I»^ iTar\ A 1 



CPO Funkhouser leveais where a pile of 
com had been placed on the property. 
Funkhouser arrested the baiter less than 
two weeks later. 



AUGUST 2008 



The author found these acorns on his Botetourt County land and positioned his 
stand nearby. Baiting takes away the decision-making process and diminishes the 
entire experience. 

"At what point do we have so 
much of an advantage over the deer 
that we are no longer really hunting, 
but only shooting, since the deer real- 
ly has no chance to use its natural in- 
stincts to avoid the hunter?" 

An excellent question, indeed, 
and this is how I would answer it. I 
have been a deer hunter since 1985, 
and I would guess that well over 80 
percent of the times I have gone deer 
hunting I have not killed a deer. But 
every time on those glorious days 
that I have placed a tag on a white- 
tail, I have felt a soul-thrilling sense of 
accomplishment. Hunting over bait, 
well, would not be hunting at all and 
would take away any sense of exhila- 
ration and accomplishment. 

Bruce Ingram is the author of The James 
River Guide, The New River Guide, 
and The Shenandoah /Rappahannock 
Rivers Guide. To obtain a copy, contact In- 
gram at P.O. Box 429, Fincastle, VA 24090 
or be_ingram@juno.com. 



Ten days after Funkhouser and 
Koloda accompanied me to my Craig 
land, the latter told me that they had 
been staking out the property and 
that the trespasser had positioned an 
additional stand on it. Four days 
later, Funkhouser called to inform me 
that the trespasser had been appre- 
hended. Dave Steffen had assured 
me that Funkhouser and Koloda 
would not rest until the trespasser 
was caught, and his words rang true. 

Bob Brown, Dean of the College 
of Natural Resources at North Caroli- 
na State University and former Head 
of the Department of Wildlife and 
Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M Uni- 
versity, has done extensive research 
on deer baiting and in his article, 
"The Nutritional, Ecological, and 
Ethical Arguments Against Baiting 
and Feeding of Deer," posed this 
question: 



Move over guys! 

Have we got a shooting 

partner for you. 



story by Clarke C. Jones 
photos by Dwiglit Dyke 

^^^J his dove season things 
^ ^ were going to be different. 

[ J My bird-to-shot ratio was 

going to improve. Friends would 
stop picking up easy money betting 
me which of us would get their limit 
first. Doves would learn that flying 
directly over me was not the safest 
place to be, and I would no longer get 
notes from the corporate heads of 
shotgun shell manufacturers thank- 
ing me for the spike in their third 
quarter sales. There is an old adage, 
"You keep doing what you have al- 
ways done, and you will keep getting 
what you always got." Thus, this 
year I decided I would spend some 
time at the shooting range working 
on rights to lefts and incoming shots 
which always seem to confound me 
and amuse my shooting partners. 

Well, things tunied out to be dif- 
ferent but not in the way I expected. 





Elizabeth Lanier points out shotgun 
basics to her daughter Below: Lanier 
siting a high bird. 

Like many quests in our lives, we set 
off to discover one thing and we un- 
cover something completely differ- 
ent. While I had hoped to solve the 
mystery of missing targets, I made a 



much more important discovery — 
WOMEN! To be more succinct, the 
increased participation of women in 
shooting sports. 

Of course a number of women 
have been shooting for years, and it 
may appear this discovery on my 
part was like Columbus claiming to 
have found a new world when the 
Native Americans already knew 
about it. However, women who 
shoot for sport have been such a 
small segment of the population that 
even the fashion industry — which 
claims to know what women 
wants — only recently began produc- 
ing clothing that didn't look like big 
brother hand-me-downs. 

You can usually count on seeing 
the same thing at any sporting clay 
range when you show up during the 
week: a small group of men with 
poor hearing who said goodbye to 
their 40s a long time ago. You do not 
expect to find two carloads of women 






Elizabeth Lanier assists a new shooter at 
the range. 

consisting of a law partner, a minister, 
an artist, and several garden club 
members chatting about choke tiibes. 
Browning vs. Beretta, and which pre- 
serve offers thie best pheasaiit shoot- 
ing. 



Above L to R: Derenda Reynolds, Sandi Nunnally, and Eva Tashjian-Brown prepare for 
a morning of sporting clays. Below: Pheasant shooting in Caroline County. 



Because my father's sons were 
not born attractive, we couldn't af- 
ford to be shy; therefore, I cautiously 
approached the ladies as any man 
would approach a group of women 
holding shotguns, and asked the lady 



in charge what brought them to a 
sporting clay range. And you thought 
an opening line at a singles bar was 
critical! 

Elizabeth Lanier, who has put this 
group who calls itself GRITS (Girls Re- 





Brenda Bickerstaff-Stanley accepts a retrieved pheasant. 



ally Into Shooting) together, ex- 
plained to me that her dentist who 
shot clays had piqued her interest 
and she and her husband decided to 
take shooting lessons. 

"I was doing this for my hus- 
band," she said, "but I'm the one who 
got hooked. Shooting was fun but I 
was the only woman involved until I 
met Lydia Strickland at a shoot. We 
exchanged phone numbers written 
on the top of a shotgun shell box." 

Most of the GRITS girls have 
only been shooting clays for three 
years or less and, admittedly, some 
were hesitant to pick up a shotgun. 

As Eva Tashjian-Brown, who just 
started shooting this year, relates the 
story, "Lydia had been telling me 
about the group and how much fun 
shooting was but I kept putting them 
off. Finally I went and had a ball. I 
told Lydia, 'You told me it would be 
fun but you didn't tell me it would be 
THIS fun!'" 



Sandy Nunnally got involved 
because of her son. "He asked me to 
go shooting with him and I had no in- 
terest in doing so. Then I thought, 
how many things can a mother do 
with her 21-year-old son?" Sandy 
now shoots a 28 gauge Franchi and 
has been for about a year. 

I was invited along to watch the 
ladies tackle the Charity Hill Sport- 
ing Clay range and shoot with them. 
The enjoyable aspect of this group is 
that they take their shooting serious- 
ly but they do not take themselves se- 
riously. There is constant encourage- 
ment to those who have just started 
shooting, as well as helpful instruc- 
tion by the more experienced shoot- 
ers to those who want to learn. 

"The really fun part is watching 
everyone improve their shooting," 

Clothing manufacturers have expanded 
their lines into shooting attire and 
accessories for women. 



stated Marilyn Wetton who has been 
shooting for a little over a year. Mari- 
lyn, like a number of the GRITS, got 
interested in shooting because of her 
husband. "He went on vacations 
where he was shooting and it looked 
like too much fun to miss out," she re- 
calls. 

While some of the GRITS use the 
sporting clay range as a way to im- 
prove on their new-found desire to 
bird hunt, others like Susan Butter- 
worth, a recent graduate of Union 
Theological Seminary, enjoys shoot- 
ing clays for different reasons. 

"I love being outdoors and the 
uniqueness of a sport that allows 
women of any age to participate. If 
you take a few lessons and stay con- 
sistent with your shooting, you see 
improvement pretty quickly. I like a 
sport that provides a way to improve 
a skill without having to be athletic. It 
doesn't matter whether you hunt or 
not, the camaraderie is fantastic. 
When I am standing at the shooting 
station, I am focusing on breaking 
that clay and not how bad my day or 
week may have been." 

So why an increased participa- 
tion in shotgun sports by women? 
Henry Baskerville, Program Director 




VIRGINIA WILDLIFE 




Above: Taking 'em on the rise. 
Below: Re-living the day's hunt. 



for Cavalier Sporting Clays, believes 
there are a number of reasons for this. 
"Shooting is not a gender-separated 
sport. It is a sport that requires more 
grace and the ability to focus than 
physical strength. Also, shotgvms are 
now made that fit women better them 
in the past, and finally, there has been 
a resurgence in the interest of using 
lighter gauge shotguns." 

Baskerville notes that women are 
easier to teach than men. "A woman 
new to shooting does not bring bad 
shooting habits to her lessons that 
have to be corrected, and after a few 
lessons, are often shooting better than 
their significant others." 

Gentlemen should begin to pre- 
pare themselves for a little "come-up- 
pance" when it involves their dress in 
the field and the lodge. When shoot- 
ing, women in the past have had few 
options when it came to hunting at- 
tire. Their choices were hand-me- 
downs or something bulky and often 
nonfunctional. European clothing 
manufacturers have recognized this 
and are significantly ahead of the U.S. 
when adding style to a woman's gun- 
ning wardrobe. 

Ramona Brumby, CEO of the 
London Trading Company based in 



Atlanta, states that European cloth- 
ing manufacturers started adjusting 
their clothing lines to market to 
women a number of years ago. 
"Field or shooting attire is now made 
to fit women, where not long ago 
women had to purchase men's cloth- 
ing in smaller sizes. For formal shoots 
there is now classic clothing that is 
timeless and looks good in the field or 
at the cocktail reception afterward." 

Brumby also believes women's 
interest in hvmting and sporting clays 
have increased because they have 
discovered, "Shooting is something 
that women can do with their hus- 
bands and boyfriends and is an 'even 
sport' — one where both men and 
women can evenly participate." 

It is human nature to congregate 
with those who share similar inter- 
ests. Best friends usually become that 
way because they share a common 
interest in the things they do. If your 
spouse or significant other is already 
your best friend, what a great person 
to make your shooting partner as 
well! D 

Clarke Jones is a freelance writer who 
spends his spare time hunting up stories 
with his black lab, Luke. He can be contact- 
ed at www.clarkeciones.com . 





Tips on 

landing a big trout 

begin here. 



's 

Jeetle .^^^"*^ 

4^ 



by Harry Murray 



atching large wild trout 
consistently from mid- 
summer until the end of the 
year is very challenging. These trout 
have been fished over by anglers and 
chased by predators since spring- 
time. They have survived by adapt- 



ing to ever-changing threats and 
feeding on the natural foods that na- 
ture provides. 

In an earlier "Match the Hatch" 
story {Virginia Wildlife, Feb. 2006), I 
reviewed the seasonal emergence se- 
quence of Virginia's major aquatic in- 
sects from March through July and 
the best artificial flies to match them. 
Armed with this information, catch- 
ing trout during that time period is 
fairly straightforward because of the 
limited variety of insects available to 
the trout at any one time. However, 
from August until the end of the year 
the broad assortment of insects avail- 
able to trout is astounding. The chal- 



lenge for the angler now becomes 
which fly to use in particular situa- 
tions and how to fish it. Let's start in 
early August and explore the op- 
tions. 

The Trico mayflies are in full 
swing by early August. The duns 
start emerging from the stream about 
7 A.M., and the mating and spinner 
fall takes place about two hours later 
As the season progresses, this emer- 
gence and spinner fall occurs later in 
the day. 

This hatch can be very dense and 
the trout can be unbelievably selec- 
tive. One way to give yourself a slight 
edge on the Trico hatch is to get to the 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 






Murray's Housefly 



Successful anglers learn that there's 
more science than art behind choosing 
the correct fly. 

Mr Rapldan Ant 

stream early enough to be able 
to drift your flies over the trout 
when the hatch first starts and the 
naturals are sparse. The same ploy 
works at the end of the daily hatch. 
Some of these tough trout can't seem 
to resist taking just one more fly. 

The most popular fly to use on 
this hatch is a Trico Spinner size 24. A 
9 foot 7X leader is standard, but I 
often use 8X in order to assure a natu- 
ral drift of the fly. 

Look for strong Trico hatches on 
streams that have good limestone 



springs flowing into them. Big 
Stoney Creek west of Edinburg 
below the Wakeman's Grove springs 
has good Trico hatches. 

Some years, the lowly housefly is 
present around Virginia's mountain 
trout streams in August in such large 
numbers that they are a real nuisance 
to the angler. They are present in the 
greatest concentrations from August 
to October in the Blue Ridge Moun- 
tains. Houseflies are helpless when 
tliey fall into a stream, and tliey are 
often shunted into the back eddies. 
Many large trout regularly swing 
through back eddies in search of this 
type of easy meal, so as you approach 
these eddies take a moment to look 
over them carefully 
and try to spot the 
trout. When you 
do, cast a Mur- 
ray's Housefly 
size 16 two feet 
out in front of 
him. 

Ants represent a very important 
natural food for trout all summer 
long simply because they are present 
in such large numbers. I've experi- 
enced many sittiations in which trout 
swam six feet across a pool to take my 
Ant fly when they passed up other 
patterns that drifted right over them. 

If you are fishing to a large trout 
and you can clearly see him come up 
and inspect several different stan- 
dard dry flies but refuse them all, 
drop down to a Mr. Rapidan 
Ant size 20 and 
you'll take most of 
them. 
My favorite ant pat- 
terns are the Mr. Rapidan 
Ant sizes 16, 18 and 20, Mc- 

Murray Black Ant sizes 16, 18 
and 20, and McMurray Cinnamon 
Ant sizes 16, 18 and 20. 

There are over 200 beetle-like in- 
sects around our trout streams from 
August through November so you 
can see why my favorite fly for this 
time of year is the Murray's Flying 



A big brown trout closely inspects a 
dry Shenl<'s Cricket on the surface 
seconds before sucking it under. 





Beetle sizes 14 and 
16. Use this as a 
searching pat- 
tern on free- 
stone streams 
and tail waters when 
you don't see feeding 
trout, and fish it beside un- 
dercut banks and grassbeds 
on spring-fed creeks. 

Large trout apparently place 
natural crickets high on their list of fa- 
vorite foods because a real cricket 
that accidentally falls into a trout 
stream has a very short lifespan. My 
favorite fly for this is Ed Shenk's 
Cricket in sizes 12, 14 and 16. Not 
only does this look like the real crick- 
et, it is a great match for the "moun- 
tain wasp" found along many 
streams in the Blue Ridge and Al- 
legheny mountains. 

Shenk's Cricket size 12 is a great 
fly to use on the Hidden Valley sec- 
tion of the Jackson River from August 
through November. On mountain 
streams like Big Tumbling Creek iii 
the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Man- 
agement Area, this is also a very pro- 
ductive fly in size 16 from August 
through November. 

Natural grasshoppers are large 
enough by late summer to attract the 
largest trout. Both Shenk's Letort 
Hopper and Dave's Hopper in sizes 
12, 14 and 16 are very productive 
from August through November. In 
large streams, such as the Bullpasture 
River above Williamsville, a good 



Ed Shenk's Cricket 




AUGUST 2008 



tactic is to fish a Hopper upstream 
along the sides of the incoming rif- 
fles. Smaller streams such as Back 
Creek in Bath County that flow 
through meadows often hold many 
trout along the grassy and undercut 
banks. 

Chironomid ac[uatic insects 
begin showing up in good numbers 
on Virginia's trout streams in October 
and they are present through Decem- 
ber. Effective flies for these include 
the Griffith Gnat size 20 and the Mr. 
Rapidan Midge sizes 20 and 22. 
Heavy hatches of these midges on 
streams, such as the delayed harvest 
section of Passage Creek east of Edin- 
burg, prompt dozens of rainbow 
trout to feed on the surface. 

Frequently there will be good 
hatches of midges below waterfalls 
on mountain streams such as Big 
Cedar Creek in Russell County. The 
side eddies below the falls usually 
produce the greatest number of 
midges and the most feeding trout. 
Some of these trout feed on adult 
flies, and the two patterns mentioned 
earlier are very effective. However, 
the trout you see swirling are feeding 
on emerging midges just below the 
water's surface. When you see this, 
use a Brassie size 20. 




Major Late Season Ti-out F\kmIs ii 




Heavy hatches of Beatis mayflies prompt 
many large trout to feed heavily upon 
the surface. 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



II 




\ii*^iiia 



The author admires a large rainbow trout which he took on a Mr. Rapidan Ant when 
he spotted the fish feeding on natural ants beside a rose bush. 



Artificial 
Dry 


%^ 


frico Spinner 24 


■J^ 


Murray's Housefly 1 4,1 6 


rh^ 


Mr.RapidanAnt 16,18, 20 
Vlcl\/lurrayAnt16,18, 20 


McMurray ,jW 
CinnamonAnt w8»| 


Murray's Flying Beetle 14,16 


yC 


Shenk's Cricket 12, 14, 16 


BlueWing Olive 


Shenk's Letort Hopper 1 2, 1 4 
Dave's Hopper 12, 14, 16 


,16 

-J 

^ 


Shenk's 


Mr.RapidanMidge20, 22 
Griffith Gnat 20 
Brassie20 


Beatis Parachute 18 
Blue Wing Olive 18 


' AUGUST 2008 




Letort Hopper 



The Beatis mayfly hatch starts in 
October on Virginia streams and can 
last through December. This can be a 
very "moody" hatch as to when and 
where it materializes. Normally, the 
best hatches and the greatest number 
of feeding trout will be found on 
heavily overcast days. I've had 
some great Beatis fishing when it 
was snowing so hard I haci trou- 
ble seeing my fly on the water. 

My favorite flies for this hatch are 
the Beatis Parachute size 18 and the 
Blue Wing Olive size 18. The small 
size of the naturals and our matching 
patterns suggest that you will get the 
best results by fishing to individual 
rising trout that are locked onto spe- 
cific feeding stations, such as those 
beside underwater grass beds and 



below downfalls. Two streams that 
have good Beatis hatches are the 
Smith River at Bassett and Buffalo 
Creek at Lexington. 

Yes, trout fishing can be outstand- 
ing in Virginia from the middle of the 
summer through December. By 
adapting your tactics and selecting fly 
patterns which match their natural 
foods, you just might experience the 
best trout fisliing of the year. H 

Harry Murray is the oivner of Murray's Fly 
Shop ill Ediiiburg, Va. He has loritten numerous 
books ami articles on fly-fisliiiig. For complete in- 
formation on many of the best trout streams in 
Vir^^inia shoivin^^ their locations and hatches, see 
the book "Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams," 
which is aimilable from tlie Slienaudoah Publish- 
ing Company, P. O. Box 156, Edinburg VA 
22824. Phone (540) 984-4212. 




vm WWMm Ceiel: 




...OnYeah^ 

Sometimes 

mere's a Little 

Wingsnooting, "Too 

byKenPerrotte 

'he early September noon 
sun was high overhead in 
the bluebird-clear sky, its 
warmth reminding the 
dozen or so hunters gathered at a 
Louisa County farm to appreciate 
their refreshing iced tea and light- 
weight, camouflaged clothing. 

Still, as Virginia dove season 
opening days go, the 2007 edition 
was downright comfy with inidday 
temperatures barely pushing 80 de- 
grees, low humidity and a northerly 
breeze. Most of the hunters recalled 
sweat-soaked openers of years past. 

Dogs and youngsters ran about 
as brimming buckets of Hardee's 
chicken and biscuits were reduced to 
so much bones and scraps. As lunch 
wound down, portable trap throwers 
were set up and the first shotgun 
blasts echoed through the South 
Anna River valley. Shooters calibrat- 
ed their reflexes and equipment in 
anticipation of flights of the real 
feathered deal later in the afternoon. 

Scenes like these are repeated in 
varying forms throughout Virginia 
on the first Saturday of every Sep- 
tember, a day when thousands of the 
camo-clad gather at farms, fields and 
wildlife management areas to enjoy a 
dove hunting tradition dating back 
generations. 

This camaraderie and the easy 
way that a fall dove shoot connects 
the past with the future are keys to its 
popularity. Plus, bagging a few of the 
exceptionally tasty game birds helps 
set the stage for some post-hunt feast- 
ing that can be beyond comparison. 

20 




There's nothing like shooting a round at challenging targets launched from trap throwers to 
ready a hunter's eye. 




The early afternoon provides some impromptu trap shooting opportunities for hunters at a 
Louisa County hunt. 

VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



I 



'ate rood, ramilq and Triend 



5 




Chris Riley brings his children Hannah, left, and Dylan, and their retriever Rex, from North Carolina to Louisa County each fall to renew 
friendships and enjoy an afternoon of dove hunting. 




Jim Wynn places foam dove decoys on the 
limbs of a cedar. 

AUGUST 2008 



Hunting magazines and Internet 
journals are full of tips on how to 
hunt doves. But joining participants 
at two different doves shoots colors 
in more of the "why we hunt" pic- 
ture. 

ramilu & rriends 

Conservation-minded brothers 
Bobby and Lanny Woolfolk of Louisa 
have staged a small-scale family and 
friends affair for nearly 30 years. 
Hunters converge from throughout 
Virginia and as far away as New Jer- 
sey and North Carolina to rekindle 
friendships. 

"The dove season opener is al- 
ways a good time, a chance for every- 
body to get together and see what 
everybody else has been doing all 
year/' says Keith Hamm of Fauquier 



County, who has hunted with the 
Woolfolks since 1981. 

Location counts around a dove 
field. Among the first orders of busi- 
ness upon arriving is to stake out 
your position. Protocol favors the 
veterans. Holding claim on a favored 
hotspot is sort of like holding a Fen- 
way Park season ticket for the Boston 
Red Sox; it's yours until you give it up 
or die, at which time it's bequeathed 
to a loved one or a favored hunting 
buddy. 

Hamm pointed to an old walnut 
tree a few yards off the crest of the 
small hill, the station that has become 
known as "his spot." The tree affords 
a commanding view of the river bot- 
tom land. Birds seem to use the tree as 
a navigational aid or staging roost en- 
route to tasty pickings in the fields. 



21 




Puppies can get in on the dove hunting 
action. Honey retrieves a dove for Bob 
Gregory. 

Jim Wynn of Virginia Beach se- 
lected a spot between Hamm and the 
cut cornfield cow pasture below. 
Wynn loaded up a dead cedar tree 
with dove decoys, hoping to entice 
birds within range. 

Down in a corner of the pasture, 
a motorized dove decoy with spin- 
ning wings mesmerized several 
cows. The bovines dipped their 
heads and stared with motionless cu- 
riosity taken aback by seemingly fly- 
ing birds that never landed. 

Shooting opportunities were a 
little slow early on, as may be expect- 
ed on most dove hunts, but by late af- 
ternoon birds were winging their 
way to the field to join cows and 
calves in dining on what remained 
from the late summer harvest. Many 
of the kids scattered around the field 
with adults had been coming to the 
hunt since they were old enough to 
participate; many of the dogs prac- 
ticed their first retrieves as puppies 
seeking out downed doves. 

Bob Gregory, a Virginia native 
now living in New Jersey, is another 
family friend who wouldn't miss the 
annual hunt. He brings his son Dillon 
and their 2-year-old yellow Lab, 
Honey. 

Chris Riley, of Hurdle Mills, 
N.C., sat in an overgrown hilltop cor- 
ral with his children Dylan, 9, and 
Hannah, 12, and the family's 2-year- 
old Labrador retriever. Rex. 



Sonya Pusey loads her 20 gauge Franchi shotgun while daughter Rachel sits alongside. 



"Hannah trained him," Riley 
said with a nod toward the dog. "I 
gave her a water dog video and a 
puppy" 

"I spoiled him rotten," Hannah 
grinned back. 

Riley's father was the pastor of a 
Louisa County church attended by 
several of the hunters. 

Throughout the afternoon, the 
family's shotguns sounded off in tan- 
dem, the children's smaller bore 
firearms backed up by dad's 12 
gauge. They didn't begin to approach 



the 12-bird limit each could have col- 
lected, but that wasn't the point any- 
way. 

"I just like being out here with my 
dad and my sister, being out here hav- 
ing fun," Dylan said. 

Well fed and Watered 

Beyond the private hunts, numer- 
ous shooting preserves, hunt clubs 
and other groups stage large-scale 
dove shoots over specially-planted 
fields. These popular hunts offer a 
chance for the operators to make a lit- 



22 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



tie money and give wingshooters 
without access to private land a hunt- 
ing opportunity. 

Depending on the scope of the 
food and other amenities, such as 
sporting clays or skeet shooting, 
prices for this type of dove opener can 
range from about $80 to $140 per per- 
son. Most operations can't guarantee 
a full bag of birds, but they can guar- 
antee you don't go away hungry. 
They tend to fill up fast. 

Charity Hill Hunting Preserve in 
Caroline County staged its 3rd annu- 
al dove hunt the second weekend of 
September. The 2007 summer 
drought took a toll on early plantings 



warm-up time shooting at two "5- 
Stand" sporting clay venues. 

An early afternoon barbecued 
chicken lunch with all the trimmings 
preceded movement to the dove 
fields. Throughout the afternoon, 
staff brought cold water and soft 
drinks to shooters staged around the 
expansive property. 

Dave Howard of Spotsylvania 
County, a longtime competitive shot- 
gunner, was at Charity Hill with his 
grandson, Mike. Howard relishes the 
annual dove opener. 

'Tt signifies to me the opening of 
the hunting season. Plus, it's a great 
social event. It's been an annual tradi- 



This couple, with a houseful of 
children, is investing in an effort to 
bring their family up to respect and 
enjoy the outdoors. Personable 8- 
year-old Rebekah was dressed in 
camouflage at both hunts, but she 
was there as an observer and not a 
shooter. At the Louisa hunt, she bus- 
ied herself crafting "paint" by grind- 
ing the green hulls covering walnuts 
between two flat rocks moistened 
with splashes of water. Rebekah's big 
sister, Rachel, 10, was similarly at- 
tired in full upland bird hunting re- 
galia, including a Gore-Tex cap and 
fine brush-buster pants handed 
down from her older brother Caleb, 




ll 



Upland birds and other wildlife are attract- 
ed to sunflower fields, which provide food 
in the form of seeds and dense cover. 

of sunflowers and other dove field at- 
tractants, so preserve owners Steve 
and Cindy Smith replanted, resulting 
in a slight delay to their season open- 
er. 

The Charity Hill event is similar 
to many of the larger, commercially 
run dove shoots, with ample catered 
food from Clem's BBQ before and 
after the shoot. Participants enjoyed a 
full buffet breakfast and unlimited 

AUGUST 2008 



tion for Little Mike and me since 
he was just a few years old," 
Howard said. 

Tradition Carries On 

Elsewhere in the Caroline dove 
field was the Pusey family of Oilville, 
Virginia. William "Biff" Pusey and 
his wife, Sonya, had celebrated their 
19th wedding anniversary to- 
gether on the Woolfolk's Labor 
Day dove shoot. The four ^^ 
eldest of their seven kids -^ 
accompanied them to '^j^ 
both hunts. •• 






Sonya Pusey and daughter Rebekah pack up and head back to the Chanty Hill Preserve lodge following an afternoon of dove hunting. 



just in case she had to locate birds in 
the briar and other scratchy stuff that 
can punctuate the edge of a dove 
field. 

Rachel toted a single shot .410, 
the same shotgun her dad used when 
his dad, William Pusey, Sr., took him 
hunting for the first time at age nine. 
The firearm was in beautiful, vintage 
condition. Rachel had passed her Vir- 
ginia Hunter Education Course a 
week earlier, proudly stating she had 
earned "an A-plus, a 100." 

"It was easy. We talk about a lot 
of the things that were on the test all 
the time in my family," she said. 
Rachel got a few shots, but didn't bag 
any birds. 

A dove hunt can be an easy 
venue for youngsters. It's not as de- 
pendent on stealth and silence as still 



or stand hunting for deer, and it's not 
as confining as duck hunting from a 
blind. Talking, laughing and the abil- 
ity to get out and run around a little, 
with safety foremost in mind, make a 
dove hunt a good early experience. 

"I love seeing the kids out here, 
said Doug Clements of Clem's BBQ. 
"Steve, Cindy, all of us here, (at Char- 
ity Hill) have worked at that for sev- 
eral years." 

As the aftenioon sun began sink- 
ing low, the number of birds winging 
their way toward the fields seemed to 
shrink in opposition to our lengthen- 
ing, fading shadows. Birds and gear 
were collected and the long walk 
back to the lodge commenced. 

Near the parking area, one 
young lady was stowing her shot- 
gun. 



"Are you a good shot," I asked 
her? 

"Oh yes. I can shoot great," she 
replied with enthusiasm! 

"How many shells does it take 
you, on average, to get a dove?" I fol- 
lowed up. 

"Don't know; haven't gotten one 
yet." 

Yes, dove shoots can be excellent 
reminders that the success of any 
hunting trip isn't always about the 
number of birds in the bag at day's 
end. n 

Ken Perrotte is a King George County 
resident and tlie outdoors columnist for 
the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star 
nezospapjer. He says the day or two he 
spends in Virginia dove fields are usually 
among his favorite days of the year. 



24 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 





m 



\ 



lourtesy of the Virginia Museum of Natural History 



A Central Virginia 



Nuseu 



?<.oc 



Ickl 



The Virginia Museum of Natural History 

operas its doors with a fresh new look into 

the past and the future. 



25 




Virginia's rich 

geoiogical and 

biological heritage 

is celebrated 

here. 

by Emily M. Grey 

fucked away at the North Car- 
olina border in the middle of 
Virginia is a sometimes for- 
gotten mini-city. Named for Revolu- 
tionary War soldier General Joseph 
Martin, Martinsville in Henry Coun- 
ty is steeped in history. 

Archaeological digs suggest that 
Saura Indians inhabited this area in 
the 1500s and 1600s. In the late 1700s, 
George Washington visited forts 
Mayo and Trial, built to protect set- 
tlers from hostile tribes. The Pennsyl- 
vania Wagon Road, following the old 
Iroquois Indian War Trail, coursed 
through the county named after for- 
mer resident and Virginia governor 
Patrick Henry. 

During the late 1800s and early 

26 



1900s, the region's tobacco industry 
flourished. Factories made popular 
chewing tobacco plugs. Eventlially, 
this industry gave way to furniture 
plants and textile mills. Today, tobac- 
co remains a chief agricultural crop. 

Instrumental to economic 
growth were The Norfolk & Western 
and Danville & Western railroads, 
which tracked through the heart of 
town. In the early 1900s, "The Na- 
tional Highway" between New York 
City and Jacksonville, Florida, also 
passed through Martinsville's center. 
This project was part of Glidden 
Tours' cross-country automobile 
trips, which proved that such vehi- 
cles could be dependable. 

Today, Martinsville and sur- 
rounding Henry County are nurtur- 
ing their educational and tourism re- 
sources. One priority is establish- 
ment of a four-year college in the 
county. 

Virginia IVIuseum of 
Natural History 

An outstanding gem of learning 
is the Virginia Museum of Natural 




Top: The sight of drying tobacco leaves 
is still common in Henry County. 
Above: This covered bridge just outside 
of Martinsville is a familiar landmark. 

History (VMNH). This $28 million 
resource officially opened March 31, 
2007, coincident with America's 
400th anniversary founding of 
Jamestown. Scaffolding used to erect 
the Statue of Liberty helped secure 
tlie 89,127-square-foot interior. 

Nearly 25 years ago, a group of 
citizens and scholars formed the 
Boaz Foundation, the origin of the 

VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



t 




'^^^l!*. 



Above: The "How Nature Works" gallery helps visitors understand the magnificent 
forces and processes that have helped create the world today. Below: Dinosaur 
models remain a big hit at the museum. 



once private VMNH. In 1988, A. L. Philpott procured 
state agency status for the entity, which remains under 
supervision of the Secretary of Natural Resources. 

An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, VMNH is 
accredited by the American Association of Museums and 
is a member of the Association of Science-Tech- 
nology Centers and the Virginia Association of ^"^ 
Museums. 

The new museum features many exhibits repre- 
senting Virginia's rich geological and biological heritage. 
This walk-though, hands-on facility aims to offer an un- 
paralleled experience. With advance notice, staff pro- 
vides specialized interpretation for visitors with disabili- 
ties. A manual wheelchair is available on a first-come 
basis. 

The state facility hopes to boost the local economy 
and become a prime tourist destination. Its mission is 
"to interpret Virginia's natural heritage within a glob- 
al context" in ways that people can understand. Icon- 
ics demonstrate different animals playing a similar 
role in other parts of the world. For example, the preda- 
tor-prey relationship is illustrated by a tiger devouring 
an axis deer. Paralleling this phenomenon is a giant 
water bug in Virginia eating minnows and tadpoles. 

"Uncovering Virginia" examines the state's ancient 
natural history through animation and video. Six re-cre- 
ated digs depict scientific finds. 

AUGUST 2008 










impart to tens of thousands of stu- 
dents. Virginia and North Carolina 
SOL-ready programs are implement- 
ed here. 

There is also a teacher resource 
center, two classrooms, and a state-of- 
the-art distance learning lab. Out- 
reach education is set to expand 
across the state. 

The new facility will allow ade- 
quate storage space for multitudinous 
insect collections. At some point, 
there will likely be demonstrations of 
these amazing invertebrates. 

Approximately 200 millipede 
species are recorded in Virginia. Se- 




The "Documenting Diversity" 
exhibit gives visitors a rare glimpse 
at how a natural history museum 
works. Approximately 22 million 
storage items such as animal skulls, 
shells, insects, and minerals are 
clearly visible. 

"We are looking to get our mes- 
sage out to Virginians in general," 
says Dr. Nick Fraser, VMNH Direc- 
tor of Research and Collections and 
Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology. 
"We are the natural depository for all 
natural history collections for the 
Commonwealth." 

On display for the first time in 
the United States from January 
through May, 2007, were dinosaur 
fossils from China. Dr. Fraser and 
other VMNH staff are collaborating 
with China scientists to discover 
why their nation's Lioning Province 
is similar to our Solite Quarry in Pitt- 
sylvania County. A National Geo- 
graphic grant allows these re- 
searchers to compare the locations 
and life forms from 225 million years 
ago when all continents were joined. 

"The Solite Quarry is the most 
important place in the world for Tri- 
assic insects," Fraser explains. "The 
rocks they came from preserve an 
entire ecosystem of salamanders, 
plants, dinosaurs, lake fish, and a 
whole array of life found in this area 
220 million years ago." 

VMNH is not just about viewing 
its creatively presented scientific ex- 



Through its varied education programs, tlie museum gets l<ids excited about 
rich natural history. 



hibits. Considerable research, collect- 
ing and educational projects also 
comprise this resource-rich entity. 
Field guides and scientific literature 
stem from collections and labeling at 
VMNH and other such museums. 
Besides her job as the museum's Cu- 
rator of Mammalogy, Dr. Nancy 
Moncrief works closely with 
nongame wildlife biologists to iden- 
tify specimens. She also enjoys inter- 
acting with scouts and students from 
middle school through college. "Ed- 
ucating teachers is a very important 
concept," says Dr. Moncrief. "The 
mulHplier effect is veiy effective." 

She explains that at the Virginia 
Science Institute each summer, teach- 
ers who are reticent about instructing 
science glean sufficient knowledge to 




Dr Nancy Moncnef categoiizes squirrels 
and other mammals. 



28 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 




Dr. Nick Fraser is VMNH Director of 
Research and Collections and Curator of 
Vertebrate Paleontology. 




Dr. Richard Hoffman is Curator of Recent 
Invertebrates at VMNH and a world expert 
on millipedes. 

cretive, hidden and comparable to 
tropical termites, these leaf eaters 
help recycle a forest. 

"Virginia has one of the most in- 
teresting insect biodiversities in 
North America and one of the least 
known," says Dr. Richard Hoffman, 
Curator of Recent Invertebrates and 
world expert on millipedes. "We've 
been so history obsessed we've neg- 
lected natural history for centuries. 

"Insects make the world go 
round. They impact us in positive 
and negative ways. The more we 
know about them the better able we 
are to manage them." 

"Thomas Jefferson was called the 
first paleontologist of Virginia," says 
Dr. Fraser. "We need to go back and 



invigorate his visions. It is amazing 
that this state is one of the last ones to 
develop its unique natural history. We 
are making great strides catching up." 

VMNH will continue to expand 
and add new programs. Field trips, 
natural history retreats, and summer 
camps welcome all ages to learn on- 
site about the nature and rocks of Vir- 
ginia. 

Next month, the museum will host 
the annual meeting of environmental 
educators from across the state. Sever- 
al hundred teachers — who impact 
thousands of public school children — 
are anticipated. Visit the Virginia Nat- 
urally Web site at ww^w. vanaturally.org 
for details of the meeting, slated for 
September 17-18. 

Citizens of the Commonwealth 
are invited to volunteer and partici- 
pate in educational programs. Fraser 
predicts that this new state museum 
will create a "potentially fantastic im- 
petus for economic development" in 
the area. 

For over 150 years, residents of 
Martinsville and the rest of Henry 
County have witnessed booms and 
bombs. Above all else, these resilient 
people continue to adapt to change. 
They and the new community-en- 
riched museum hope to make a benefi- 
cial, lasting impression upon other Vir- 
ginians and out-of-state visitors. D 

Emily Grey is a naturalist, outdoor writer, 
plwtojournalisi, and attorney from Vir- 
ginia's Eastern Shore. She is also a member of 
the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association. 

Contact Information 

Virginia Museum Natural History 

21 Starling Ave. 

Martinsville, VA 24112 

276-634-4141 

www.vmnh.net 

VMNH's new navigationally-friendly 

Web site presents more multimedia 

graphics and information. 

Hours: Mon. - Sat., 9 A.M. - 5:30 RM. 
Sun., Noon- 5:30 RM. 
(Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, 
and Christmas) 

Admission: Adults, $7 

Seiiiors & college stvidents, $6 

Youth 3 to 18, $5 

Members and children under 3, Free 

AAA / AARP discounts 




The Clubhouse Resort B&B is still a coveted 
retreat for the hunter and angler. Birders 
and cyclists enjoy the grounds too. 




Other 
Area Attractions 

Outdoor enthusiasts in Henry 
County can watch wiLdhfe, camp, or 
look for tiny unique crucibles called 
"fairystones" at Fairy Stone State Park. 
Birdwatchers and anglers will also 
enjoy exploring the Martinsville Im- 
poundment Reservoir and Philpott 
Reservoir. 

At the historical Clubhouse Resort 
B&B, initially constructed by Marshall 
Field, guests can hike, cycle, or experi- 
ence world-class brown trout fishing 
on the Smith River. Watching deer and 
songbirds at birdbaths and feeders 
while soaking in a hot tub or from the 
lodge's many windows is a bonus. Sev- 
eral miles away, Charles Aaron's gor- 
geous covered bridge, a reminder of 
yesteryears, overlooks a golf course. 



AUGUST 2008 



29 




Journal 



2008 Outdoor 
Calendar of Events 

Unless otherwise noted, for more infor- 
mation go to the "Upcoming Events" page 
on the Department's Web site at 
www.HuntFishVA.com. 

August 5: Flat Out Catfishing Work- 
shop, James River, Richmond. 

August 8-10: Virginia Outdoor Sports- 
man Show, The Showplace, Rich- 
mond. For more information call 804- 
748-7520 or visit www.sportsman- 
show.com. 

August 22-24: Mother-Daughter Out- 
doors, Holiday Lake 4-H Educational 
Center, Appomattox. For females 9 
years of age and above. 

September 20: Fly Fishing Workshop, 
Riven Rock Park, Harrisonburg. 

October 18: Family Fishing Workshop, 
Bear Creek Lake State Park, Cumber- 
land. D 




by Beth Hester 

Upriver and Dozinistreani: The Best Fh/- 
Fishhig and Angling Adventures from 
the New York Times 
edited by Stephen Sautner 
2007 Harmony Books 
ISBN: 978-0-307-38102-6 
Hardcover with line drawings 
$23.00 

"Fishing is )wt an escape from life, but 
often a deeper immersion into it. " 

Harry Middlettm 



The literary contributions of an- 
gler-authors, both famous and infa- 
mous, have graced the popular 'Out- 
doors' column of the New York Times 
for many years, their piscatorial me- 
anderings a refreshing diversion 
from sober stock market charts and 
society weddings. These true stories 
and tall tales are companionable re- 
minders of threshold moments spent 
in places where the worlds of nature 
and conscious activity, specifically 
sport, merge. 

Upriver and Doxvnstream gathers 
70 of these columns in one handsome 
volume, featuring classic prose-styl- 
ists like Nick Lyons, Peter Kaminsky, 
Ernest Schweibert, Patricia Leigh 
Brown, Robert H. Boyle, and Thomas 
McGuane. It is precisely the book to 
grab for late summer evening, bare- 
foot-in-the-hammock-style day- 
dreaming. 

Nick Lyons watches in awe as 
gargantuan striped bass gorge on 
sand eels in the waters off Ama- 
gansett, powerless to take advantage 
of this bizarre display; he'd left liis 
tackle and Lou Tabory eel imitations 
in the closet of his New York City 
apartment. 

Stephen Sautner plies the 
Delaware River for trout, surrender- 
ing the big one when a loop of fly line 
catches on his reel, and the leader 
gives way with a sickening snap. 

These all-season adventures take 
place in fresh and salt waters, from 
small ponds to the Florida Ever- 
glades, from Iceland, post-Soviet 
Russia and the Amazon, to the hum- 
ble Hudson River piers. The pieces 
are awash in sensory delight; the 
sights, sounds and scents of fishing 
grounded in the material world. . . yet 
so distant from it. H 




Ttie State Record Fish Committee of ttie 
Virginia Department of Game and Inland 
Fisheries has, for the first time, certified a 
state record freshwater drum. This is one of 
the few species in the drum family that live 
in fresh water and the only one found in 
North America. It was added to the state 
record fish program in 2007, and this is the 
first application that met the minimum 
qualifi/ing weight of 8 pounds. On May 17th 
of this year, Mr. Timothy Davidson of 
Stovall, North Carolina caught his 15- 
pound, 2-ounce drum in the Virginia portion 
of the Grassy Creek arm of Kerr Resen^oir 
(a bo known as Buggs Island Lake). In 
Virginia, this species is only native to the 
Tennessee drainage, and it is unknown how 
they became established in Kerr Reservoir. 
Mr. Davidson was bass fishing with a green 
Zoom worm when the drum hit. It took him 
about ten minutes to land the fish, which 
he expected to be a 30 to 40-pound catfish 
because it was pulling so hard. He said that 
he'd caught drum there before, but none 
bigger than a couple of pounds. The fish 
was 31.5 inches long and had a girth of 
21.25 inches. 



30 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



VOWA Youth Essay Contest 

Congratulations to Madison 
Shaw for her third-place entry in the 
annual youth writing contest spon- 
sored by the Virginia Outdoor Writ- 
ers Association. Madison is a 10th 
grade student at Ocean Lakes High 
School in Virginia Beach. 

"Nature Shock" 

My most memorable nature ex- 
perience was more than a trip, more 
than a vacation, and more than a day 
out; it was an entire move to Ten- 
nessee. I had to move to Tennessee to 
live with my grandparents when 
both of my parents were deployed to 
Iraq. I am used to moving a lot be- 
cause I'm a Navy brat, but this was a 
whole new experience. I usually 
move to a city or military housing on 
a base, but my grandparents' house 
was out in the middle of nowhere. I 
was not very happy about this at first. 
Little did I know, this would be one of 
the best places that I had ever lived. 

It took me a while to notice that I 
was living in the middle of paradise. 
I could go fishing, hiking, exploring 
and swimming any time I liked. The 
first place that I noticed was the pond 
across the street. I already knew that I 
loved going over there to throw the 
stick in the water for the dog to chase, 
but the first time my grandfather 
took me over there to fish I realized 
that this pond had the best fishing. I 
could go over there every day and 
catch at least 10 fish. That became a 
regular activity for me. 

One thing that I really wanted to 
do was go exploring in the acres of 
forest that surrounded my grandpar- 
ents' house. The first time that I went 
exploring in the woods, it took me 3 
hours to come home because it was 
just so fun. I never realized what kind 
of natural wonders you can find just 
walking around. I found streams that 
I could swim in, small caves, deer, 
and abandoned houses. The aban- 
doned houses were some of the 
coolest things, because I found out 
that each of them came with their 
own unique story. 



The best thing that I came upon 
in my explorations was a pond hid- 
den in a circle of trees. At first, it just 
looked like a nasty pond overgrown 
with grass and thorns. As soon as I 
got only five feet away from the 
pond, I heard about 20 frogs jump 
into the water. Tons of frogs contin- 
ued to jump into the water as I got 
closer. It amazed me. Now you may 
think, "What's so great about a bunch 
or frogs and a pond?" It's not just 
about the pond or the frogs; it was the 
personal connection that I would 
gain with this pond over just a matter 
of weeks. I first had to name the pond 
so that I wouldn't have to say "that 
pond" every time I talked about it, so 
I decided to call the pond "Hop Frog 
Pond." I thought the name really fit. I 
made a little walkway into the pond 
and made a sign to go right next to 
the path. This was my place to go to 
relieve stress, to have some quiet, or 
to just go see all the frogs. 

After all of these discoveries, I 
didn't think it could get any better. 
That was, until I met Janie. She was a 
lady who took care of the farm across 
the street. I gained a friendship with 
her very fast. She took me with her 
when she had to spray anthills, check 
the cows, and feed the horses. I loved 
working on the farm with her be- 
cause I got to be close to the animals 
and drive the Gator. 

Then, after a while of getting all 
that hands-on experience, she let me 
take a big leap. She wanted me to 
help herd cows. At first it didn't 
sound like fun, but after that first time 
I couldn't wait until we had to do it 
again. The adrenaline from having to 
keep the cows in certain boundaries 
and just tlie fact that it was a danger- 
ous job that I was getting to help with 
made me fall in love with herding. 

This move and experience was 
exactly the adventure that I had al- 
ways wished for. The fact that I didn't 
see it coming and I discovered it on 
my own made it even better. I found 
out that it only takes a little looking to 
find such adventure and wonders in 
nature, and that it may be right under 
your nose. D 




Three-year-old Lily Beverley demon- 
strates that fish are, in fact, hold-able. 
Here, she proudly displays one of the four 
bream she caught this day in a private pond 
in Fluvanna. 

According to her dad, Scott Beverley, 
Lily focused on playing with the worms and 
crickets during their first few fishing adven- 
tures. Since then, she has honed her cast- 
ing and rod-holding skills, in order to be 
more like her older siblings. 

Scott values the family benefits of 
time spent fishing together, adding, "The 
expression on her face each time the bobber 
goes down is worth every trip!" 




-^iJumi- 



"Honey, did you remember to 
renew your fishing license? 



AUGUST 2008 



31 



Subscribe to the NEW 




For a free email subscription, visit our 

Web site at www.HuntFishVA.com. 
Click on the Outdoor Report link and 
simply fill in the required information. 



Commonwealth of Virginia 

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries 
LIFETIME 











Lifetime Licenses 

Open the door to a lifetime of enjoyment 

in the great outdoors of Virginia with a 

lifetime freshwater fishing, hunting 

or trout license! 

it's an investment that keeps on giving. 

For more information visit: 

httpy/www.HuntFishVA.com/forms/ 
lifetimejicenses/instructions.html 

or call! -(866) 721-6911 











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II hunters (whether licensed or exempt from being licensed) who plan to 
hunt doves, waterfowl, rails, woodcock, snipe, coots, gallinules or 
moorhens in Virginia must be registered with the Virginia Harvest Informa- 
tion Program (HIP). HIP is required each year and a new registration number 
is needed for the 2008-2009 hunting season. To obtain a new HIP number mi- 
gratory game bird hunters can register online at www.VAHIP.com or call I- 
888-788-9772. 

In addition.Virginia waterfowl hunters must obtain a Federal Duck Stamp 
and the Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp to hunt water- 
fowl inVirginia. The annual Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp can be 
purchased for a fee of $ 1 0.00 (resident or non-resident) fromVDGIF license 
agents or clerks who sell Virginia hunting licenses or from the Department's 
Web site. To request collector stamps and prints, contact Mike Hinton at 
(540) 35 1 -0564 or by e-mail at ducks@hintons.org. 




Fishing Olympics 

The 6th annual Trout Fishing Olympics, held in early May on Elk Creek in Grayson 
County, was another resounding success. Dn and Mrs. Sidney B. Harvey thank the many 
volunteers and community leaders who contributed personal time and energy to support 
this meaningful event. Close to 70 speadl needs participants were assisted by adult com- 
panions and volunteers, including fisheries and law enforcement staff with the DGIF. 



32 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ wwwHuntFishVA.com 



by Lynda Richardson 



Spare Your Shoulders and Get a Beach Roily! 




As we get older, our poor over-worked 
shoulders and backs need a break. The 
"BEACH ROLLY" can carry loads of gear over 
some pretty tough terrain, but be sure to 
secure it first! ^Lynda Richardson 



/first thought about getting a 
llama. They seemed pretty quiet 
and were already Icnown for being 
very handy at carrying gear along 
trails. The only problem was I just 
didn't think I could find one small 
enough to fit in my car... unless I 
added a sunroof. My next thought 
was a miniature horse. I have always 
wanted a horse! If 1 could get one just 
big enough that I could ride it too, 
that would be even better. But again, 
besides having to feed, water, house 
and clean up after it, my biggest chal- 
lenge was getting it to fit in the car. 
None of these "living equipment trol- 
ley" ideas was working out. 

Trying to figure out how to carry 
heavy camera equipment into the 
field can be quite a challenge. For 



over 20 years I have carried gear in 
overstuffed camera bags hanging 
from my shoukiers and via large 
camera backpacks with special 
weight-dispersing hip belts. But, 
there comes a point in a long-time 
photographer's life when the shoul- 
ders and back simply give up. It got 
so bad for me that I didn't even want 
to go out shooting, because my cam- 
era bag was so heavy that it gave me a 
splitting headache within seconds of 
picking it up. 

So, I tried hiring assistants to 
carry my gear. Sometimes that 
worked well, but there were many 
times when I just couldn't take anoth- 
er person with me. I tried lightening 
my equipment load, but whenever I 
did that I always needed what I'd left 
behind! 

I was getting desperate. I started 
talking to other photographers and 
looking through trade magazines for 
an answer, and that's when I discov- 
ered the "Beach Roily"! The Roily is 
basically a beach chair with wheels. 
Not only can you carry 154 pounds of 
gear, you can also use it as a chair. 
Sturdy, inflatable wheels allow you 
to add or release air based on the ter- 
rain you are covering. 

One thing that really sold me on 
the Beach Roily was that it was so 
easy to transport. Made of tubular, 
non-rusting aluminum and weigh- 
ing just 10 pounds, the Roily folds up 
to 28 X 21 X 5.5 inches, an easy fit into 
any car. It sells for $169, with several 
add-on options available. 

The Beach Roily offers a great so- 
lution for carrying your gear. It might 
not be as warm and fuzzy as a llama 
or a miniature horse, but at least it 
will fit in the car! For more informa- 
tion, go to: http:/ /www.beachrol- 
lyusa.com. D 



You are invited to submit one of your best 
images to "Image of the Month," Virginia 
Wildlife Magazine, P.O. Box 11104, (4010 
West Broad Street), Richmond, VA, 23230- 
1104. Send original slides, high-quality 
prints, or high-res jpeg files on disk and in- 
clude a self-addressed, stamped envelope 
or other shipping method for return. Also, 
please include any pertinent information 
regarding how and where the image was 
captured and what camera, film and set- 
tings you used. I hope to see your image as 
our next "Image of tlie Montli" ! 



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Congratulations go to Brenda Mueller, of 
Virginia Beach, for her fabulous photograph 
of an Eastern fence lizard holding a caterpil- 
lar in its mouth. Brenda captured this elu- 
sive critter using a Nikon COOLPIX P4 digital 
camera. Way to spot it Brenda! 



AUGUST 2008 



33 




by Jim Crosby 



Meet SPOT: A Satellite Messenger 



rhe SPOT Satellite Messenger® is 
a multi-purpose tool that can be 
used as a distress beacon, as well as 
providing options to request help 
without a full-blown Search and Res- 
cue (SAR) response (unlike current 
Personal Locator Beacons, PLB). It 
can also be used to notify friends, 
family or associates that you are okay 
and as a means for them to track your 
real time location. 

SPOT, Inc. is a subsidiary of 
Globalstar, the satellite phone system 
provider. SPOT was conceived by a 
research group at Globalstar and in- 
troduced at the 2007 Outdoor Retail- 
er Summer Market in Salt Lake City. 
The unit uses a GPS receiver and a 
Globalstar satellite transmitter. Like 
all current 406-mliz Personal Locator 
Beacons, all communications are one 
way. Being a multi-purpose commu- 
nications tool, it provides some obvi- 
ous potential advantages over a PLB. 
SPOT is not usable worldwide like a 
PLB, but fits the bill for users in and 
around tlie continental U.S. 




SPOT has four simple functions: 

1) Alert 9-1-1 notifies the emergency 
response center of your GPS location; 

2) Ask for HELP sends a request for 
help to friends and family; 3) Check 
In lets contacts know where you are 
and that your are okay; 4) Track 
Progress sends and saves your real 
time location and allows contacts to 
track your progress using Google 
Maps®. 

Weighing just over 7 ounces, it is 
currently listed by West Marine at 
$149.99 with a Basic Service Subscrip- 
tion annual price of $99.99 and an ad- 
ditional Tracking Service Subscrip- 
tion annual price of $49.99. SPOT is 
powered by two, lithium AA-cells 
that are accessed via a removable bat- 
tery cover on the back side. Global- 
star claims that fully charged batter- 
ies power the SPOT unit in the 
"Power On" mode for one year. In 
the "9-1-1 Alert" mode it will operate 
approximately seven days, transmit- 
tirig the alert every five minutes. In 
the "SPOT casting" tracking mode, 
transmitting every ten minutes, they 
claim it will operate approximately 
14 days. And lastly, in "Spot-check" 
mode it will transmit approximately 
1900 messages. In an emergency, 
SPOT will operate on alkaline AA 
batteries but not for as long as the rec- 
ommended lithium AA cells. 

The device is contained in an or- 
ange plastic case that is approximate- 
ly 4.38 x 2.75 X 1.5 inches. It has black 
mbberized grips on both sides with 
raised ridges. SPOT fits comfortably 
and securely in your hand, and the 
natural gripping position tends to 
keep your hand away from the an- 
tenna located under its logo. There is 
a slot for a lanyard and it comes with 
a belt clip. 

"Equipped to Survive" at 
www.equipped.org/SPOT is a Web 



site devoted to studying and recom- 
mending survival equipment. Their 
SPOT reviewer states, "I tend to be 
somewhat conservative when it 
comes to lifesaving devices." He con- 
tinues, "If SPOT performs as prom- 
ised and it proves reliable and robust- 
ly constructed, I think it might pro- 
vide a viable alternative to a more ex- 
pensive PLB for many users. Over 
the short term, it will save some 
money, but whether it's a good long- 
term investment is another issue. 
However, the lower initial outlay wiU 
definitely encourage more folks to 
buy and carry one of these on their 
adventures, and all other things 
being equal, statistics suggest that 
will save lives ..." 

The SPOT company Web site at 
www.findmeSPOT.com lists many 
examples of lives saved by the use of 
the SPOT Satellite Messenger®. D 

Please Note: I always welcome feed- 
back, input and /or suggestions from 
readers. My email address is: jecros- 
by@comcast.net . 




34 



VIRGINIA WILDLIFE ♦ www.HuntFishVA.com 



Out 



',7"J\TT /\ 






4^ 




2007 Limited Edition 

Virginia l/\//7c///7e Col lector's Knife 

Our 2007 Collector's knife has been customized by Buck Knives. This classic 
model 1 10 folding knife is 8 1/2" long when fully opened and has a distinc- 
tive, natural woodgrain handle with gold lettering. Each knife is individually 
serial numbered and has a mirror polished blade engraved with a fox. Our 
custom knife comes in a solid cherry box with a collage of foxes engraved on 
the box cover. 

Item # VW-407 $90.00 each (plus $7.25 S&H) 




2006 Virginia Wildlife Collector's Knife 

This year's knife has been customized for us by Buck Knives. Each knife is in- 
dividually serial numbered, and comes with a distinctive rosewood handle 
and gold lettering. This year's knife also includes two white-tailed deer 
etched on the blade. This custom knife not only comes with a leather sheath, 
but also a custom made solid, cherry box with a decorative wildlife scene en- 
graved on the cover. 

Item #VW-406 $85.00 each (plus $7.25 S&H) 





2005 Virginia Wildlife Collector's Knife 

This year's knife has been customized for us by Buck Knives and has a cut out 
blade of a hunter and his dog. Each knife is individually serial numbered and 
comes with a distinctive rosewood handle and gold lettering. This custom 
knife comes in a decorative solid cherry box with a hunting scene engraved 
on the cover. 

Item #VW-405 $75.00 each (plus $7.25 S&H) 

To Ordor Visit the Department's Web site at: 

www.HuntFishVA.com or call (804) 367-2569 

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks tor delivery. 



^ 






PPREN . . 

Hunting License 



tiLejs. 



The new apprentice hunting license serves as a 
first-timeVirginia resident or nonresident hunt- 
ing license and is good for 2 years. 

The license holder must be accompanied and 
directly supervised by a mentor over 18 who 
has on his or her person a validVirginia hunting 
license. 

The apprentice license does not qualify the 
holder to purchase a regular hunting license, 
nor exempt the holder from compliance with 
Department regulations. A hunter education 
course must be successfully completed to ob- 
tain a regular hunting license. 

A bear, deer, turkey license and all applicable 
stamps or permits are required in addition to 
the apprentice license. ] 

Previous Virginia resident and nonresident 
hunting license holders may not use an appren- 
tice license. ■I 

To learn more about the Virginia Apprentice 
Hunting License, call (866) 721-691 1 or log on 
to www.HuntFishVA.com. 



The 2009 



i 



Wildlife Cal 





Is Now Available 



It's once again time to purchase a new 
Virginia Wildlife calendar For more 
than 20 years the Department of 
Game and Inland Fisheries has been 
publishing one of the most visually stunning 
and informative wildlife calendars in the 
country. 

The 2009 edition of the Virginia Wildlife calen- 
dar highlights many of the most sought after 
game and fish species in the state. Virginia 
hunters, anglers, and wildlife enthusiasts will 
appreciate the rich colors and composition of 
the 1 2 monthly photo spreads. 

The calendar is full of useful tidbits for the out- 
doors lover — including wildlife behavior pre- 
ferred fishing and hunting times, hunting sea- 
sons, state fish records, and much more! Nat- 
ural history information is provided for each 
species featured. 

Virginia Wildlife calendars make great holi- 
day gifts and are still being offered at the 
bargain price of only $ ! each. 

Quantities are limited, so order yours 
now! Make your check payable to 'Trea- 
surer of Virginia" and send to; Virginia 
WIdlife Calendar, PO. Box 1 1 1 04, Rich- 
mond, Virginia 23230-1 1 04. To pay by 
VISA or MasterCard, you can order the 
calendar online at: wvwv.HuntFishVA.com 
on our secure site. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks 
for delivery. 



For magazine subscriptions, circulation problems and address changes, call 1-800-710-9369 

Twelve Issues for $ 12.95, Two Years for $23.95; and Three Years for ONLY $29.95 

ALL OTHER CALLS to (804) 367-1000 

Visit our Web site at vvww.HuntFishVA.com